Monday, January 18, 2010

ITDR Review

Company name: ITDR


ITDR (intothedarkroom) is an online photography software company offering several web solutions. A product that might be interesting to you in website management perspective is “Dream Package”. It’s a 3 in 1 package providing a consistently designed slideshow, blog and website templates.

There is no anything like template demos or admin panel live preview available on ITDR website. You can only browse the list of sites built with this software and see a sample of the slideshow. We’ve looked at showcase photography websites and frankly speaking, the impression is mixed. First thing that comes to the eye is that all websites look almost the same which is quite strange. ITDR produces website for photographers whose main goal is high recognition of the brand and well-reflected identity. This is certainly hard to achieve via clone-like templates. Next thing we’ve noticed is that all designs have little, centered layout which looks fine only in a full-screen mode. With this, we have to admit that minimalist, light design give websites a contemporary look. Besides, blog designs which also come in the Dream Package look stunning. Much of this is due to the wide content area which is perfect for showcasing photos and a large Flash header against a static design.

Flash websites claimed to be SEO-friendly. We tested a couple of sites (, and to our opinion this statement is a bit overrated. The images are indexed partially and URLs are not accurate.

The list of features included into Dream Package templates is rather narrow. Among them are flash splash page, large images, virtually unlimited navigation buttons, unlimited content page (it’s left unclear to us if there is only one content page available), unlimited photo album pages, unlimited contact page, customizable colors, mp3/video ready etc. I think that Calendar section and password protected galleries would be great to include. Probably this can be realized in custom website solutions for additional fee of course. If you want to sell your photographs from your site, you’ll have to additionally acquire ITDR’s proofing solution as it’s not included into the Dream template package.

The Dream Package will cost you $750 + $9.90 monthly fee for the CMS usage. This is not a hosted solution, your website can reside on your own server that meets the requirements of Intothedarkroom. As you can see, this product is quite expensive and doesn’t contain any bang that could justify the price.

In general, there is not much info to be found on ITDR’s official website. There is no trial period or live demo available for viewing. The company asks you to contact them if you want to learn more about their products or make a purchase. This is not a user-friendly step, and you interest in the offered products should be really strong to go far and contact provider for the details.


  1. I have a client who wanted to use one of their older slideshow. They don't have a very good support system in their products. They insist that i needed to change hosting for their products even though my host met all their basic requirements. They could not explain why i needed to change hosts. After the labourious effort of changing the host which took days of going back and forth, i found out that it was all unnecessary, since they have suddenly let go of their restrictions. It wasted alot of time and money.

    The lady that answers their phone for support isn't very helpful. She doesn't sound very technical, and doesn't go the extra mile to explain.

    Now they have new products on their site that says it will be ready for 2010... Its not ready yet. 2010 is a vague timeline. Their website is all slick, but bare in content.

  2. IntoTheDarkRoom's customer service is horrible at best. There is a reason they do not offer a trial or demo, buyer beware.
    Good luck with the weak instructions. They may or may not read your emails.
    Waste of time and money, not to mention the frustration in dealing with IntoTheDarkRoom.